John Saville – Commitment and History

Themes from the life and work of a socialist historian



ISBN: 9781907103216 Categories: ,

Format: Paperback

Publication date: January 1, 2011

Page extent: 224

5 in stock

A biography of a significant figure in left-wing academia and founder of the New Left

John Saville (1916-2009) was one of the leading socialist academics of his generation, and one of the most influential figures in British labour history. This new collection of essays offers a variety of perspectives on his lifetime’s work. A first section - commitments - assesses Saville’s activities, at different times during his life, as a communist, as a founder of the New Left, and as editor (with Ralph Miliband) of the long-running Socialist Register. The middle section - themes - looks at key themes which mattered for Saville, from revolutionary anti-imperialism in India to the politics of Cold War and debates in labour history. In part three - interventions - contributors discuss Saville’s contributions to contemporary historical understanding of Chartism, British labourism and the Cold War. The aim is to offer critical analysis and reflection in the tradition which Saville himself did so much to establish.

Contributors: Tony Adams, John Callaghan, Malcolm Chase, Madeleine Davis, Sobhanlal Datta Gupta, David Howell, Dianne Kirby, Colin Leys, Kevin Morgan and John Sakkas


The good old cause – Kevin Morgan
The New Reasoner and the Early New Left – Madeleine Davis
‘Honest socialists’: John Saville and the Socialist Register – Colin Leys
The first casualty of a socialist foreign policy? Greece and Britain in the 1940s – John Sakkas
Islam and the Religious Cold War – Dianne Kirby
History re-examined: anti-imperialism, the Communist Party of India and international communism – Sobhanlal Datta Gupta
Port workers and politics: religion, casual labour and voting in English docklands, 1900-1922 – Tony Adams
The Chartist movement and 1848 – Malcolm Chase
The ideology of labourism – David Howell
The politics of continuity – John Callaghan